As an adult, I don’t think I’ve ever felt as alone and out-of-place as this past week when Game of Thrones came up. America, which no longer cares about ANYTHING in real time (short of a sporting event or two, and some soap opera political occasion), finally had one thing to talk about: Game of Thrones, The Final Season. It was, truly, the only thing the entire country could agree on. The last remaining appointment TV show, resulting in 17.4 million viewers last night, according to a press release HBO just sent out.
And no wonder, for the past two months – we were all reminded 24/7 to re-watch the previous seasons, to read past recaps on (insert pop culture publication of your choice), to GET READY. With all that homework done – how could we not show up for it.
Plus, today, if you wanted to open the internet – you had to have seen it. Seemingly millions of podcasts and recaps were pushed out, office friendships were rekindled over chatting about it.
And I couldn’t participate. Because I don’t watch it.
Because I don’t like it.
Before you tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about – let me tell you this: It is not that I didn’t try. I watched the whole first season as a binge (remember when that word still felt like novelty?), to prep for the second season. I gave the second season a good try. I participated in season three, mostly out of social guilt. And then, somewhere around season four, I decided to free myself.
I felt the show was competently made and all, but it was SO self-serious, so lacking any kind of generosity of spirit of life-affirmation and so well, BORING at times in its brutality and mechanical sexuality that I could really not make myself go any further.
My friends made their cases (because, well, they didn’t want to NOT BE able to talk about it in front of me) – just watch it again, just listen to the recap podcasts, just watch it and read the Entertainment Weekly recaps after and then listen to the podcast and then re-watch it again, and you’ll get it.
Why do I NEED TO watch an hour long show and then spend two hours on assorted theories around it, IN ORDER TO ENJOY IT?
I mean, IT IS entertainment, not grad school, right? (I’ve been to grad school btw, and liked it more than Game of Thrones) It IS fantasy, right? There’s dragons and weird demons and fun outfits and whatnot? Why does this need to be so LABOR intensive?
And why did I feel a need to write this now?
Because, today, sitting in my chair, working on the internet, I felt like I have somehow been shamed into expressing my opinion about the show, because it is, well an unpopular opinion. So, I am putting it out here, in public, to free myself and to free YOU.
Repeat after me: It is OK to say you don’t like Game of Thrones. It is OK to not watch the final season. The world will not collapse because of it.
I will also not judge you for liking/loving/obsessing over it. Please extend me the same courtesy.